The Norway Ministry of Defense has told French authorities that Norway will not send troops to Task Force Takuba now. Norway, along with several other European countries, received a request from the French and Malian authorities to contribute to a new multinational force in Mali called Takuba. The force will drive capacity building and strengthen the Malian army’s ability to deal with the growing terror threat in the area. Takuba is linked to the French Barkhane operation in the Sahel region.
“We are concerned about the deteriorating situation in the Sahel and understand well the need to establish Task Force Takuba. The Government has carefully considered this and consulted the Storting. As we lack support in the Storting, we have come to the conclusion that Norway will not join this force now,” says Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen.
Operation Barkhane is an ongoing anti-insurgent operation in Africa’s Sahel region, which commenced 1 August 2014. It consists of a 4,500-strong French force, which is permanently headquartered in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad. The operation has been designed with five countries, and former French colonies, that span the Sahel: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. These countries are collectively referred to as the “G5 Sahel”. The operation is named after a crescent-shaped dune in the Sahara desert. The French military initially intervened in Mali in early 2013 as part of Operation Serval which successfully regained the northern half of the country from Islamist groups.